Plan opposed by environmentalists


ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have condemned the proposed £113 million municipal waste incinerator and warn it will become a health risk for Dublin's population.

Green Party spokesman on waste, Mr John Gormley, said the plant's description as an environmentally friendly waste to energy facility was "a marketing ploy". "If you want to be environmentally sound, go back to the source of the problem and reduce the quantity of waste being produced by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Mr Gormley, who was active in the successful campaign against a proposed clinical waste incinerator in Ringsend, Dublin, said the plan will be challenged at every level if necessary.

He warned that once the incinerator is in operation, it may be used to dispose of toxic waste, dressed up as domestic waste.

A Greenpeace spokesman, Mr John Bowler, said the proposal was simply replacing one problem with another.

"Although it will reduce CO2 emissions it will also lead to the release of dioxins, which are a problem not just in environmental terms but in public health terms as they are carcinogenic."

Strong local opposition to the initiative can be expected, he said. "We will be putting pressure on the Minister in the hope that the decision is reversed."

The Plastics Industries Association (PIA) welcomed the new plant, and rejected claims that incineration is a health risk.

PIA director, Mr Reg McCabe, said Ireland is the only State in Europe without a facility for recovering energy from waste. The initiative would make it easier for the industry to meet EU directives on recycling.

The level of dioxin produced by modern incinerators was "at the limit of detection", he said. "Incinerators operated to today's high standards are extremely safe."

Also welcoming the announcement, IBEC's environmental executive, Ms Mary Kelly, said the new facility was an essential part of an integrated waste management strategy.